Different types of breasts and nipples

Different types of breasts and nipples

By our reckoning combining breast types and nipples there are at least 90 different 'types' of breasts... and we're not even going to think about the impact of breast size, nipple colour or nipple size.

You may call them ‘boob’s, ‘tits’, ‘the girls’, ‘buds’ or ‘tatas’ (actually Mum’s Lounge identified 300 names for them) it is safe to say that breasts are generally a worldwide obsession.

Whether it’s social media controversy for showing a female nipple – which is different from a male nipple how?.. don’t get us started on that one! – nurturing a baby, looking fabulous in an outfit (or out of one!) or as an intimate part of your relationship there is no getting away from them. So we thought we would write a number of articles talking about a popular, controversial and sometimes painful part of life, based on your questions and our knowledge… and we do know a lot!

We’re also going to look at:

So watch this space!

If we’ve missed anything out that you want to know tweet us and we’ll get our experts on it!

Also we highly recommend checking out our blog by Medical Director Simon Smith about safe surgery and why going abroad may not be your best option (*spoiler alert* it’s dangerous)

different types of breast

Breast types may go by different names but, depending on your sources, there are between 9 and 12 types of breast. Personally we believe there are ten different breast types. Everyone’s breasts are different and individual to them, so if yours don't look like your friends (or those famous boobs that you admire) then never mind, you're still perfect and normal. 

Our ten identified different types of breasts are:


First things first, nearly everyone has one breast that is slightly larger than the other... this is normal, barely noticeable (it was probably your bra that gave it away) and absolutely not something that needs correcting. Asymmetrical breasts are of two noticeably different sizes with an uneven appearance noticeable with the naked eye. If someone is seeking to correct their asymmetrical breasts a surgeon can assist by using two different implant sizes to create a more even appearance. Be aware however, that there may still be some variation in breast size. 



Whether their dictated by your genes or your exercise regimen 'Athletic' breasts are wider, and more muscular looking, having more muscle and less breast tissue. If someone is seeking to enlarge athletic breasts: for either a more balanced or enhanced appearance a surgeon can absolutely assist but will need to place the implant beneath the muscle so the recovery time will take a little longer. 


Bell shape

This one is a little self-explanatory but we'll go into some detail nevertheless. Bell-shaped breasts are shaped like a bell i.e. narrower at the top and fuller at the bottom. Bell shaped breasts are very common, especially after breastfeeding, when some fullness to the upper part of the breast may be lost. If you are looking to alter bell-shaped breasts a surgeon may recommend a breast uplift and enlargement. This is not because your breasts are sagging but because an enlargement alone may emphasis the bell-shape giving a saggy appearance. 


Slender breasts refers to the width across the ribcage, rather than the  breast's protrusion (how far they stick out).Slender breasts are narrow and long, with nipples pointing downwards. Slender breasts are thinner in shape but can still be large i.e. not all slender breasts are small. If you are looking to alter slender breasts a surgeon may recommend an uplift with or without an enlargement. If an enlargement alone is performed the implant will sit behind the downwards pointing nipple giving a sagging appearance.


Tubular or Conical

Similar to slender breast, but not the same, tubular breasts, or conical breasts, are shaped like tubes or cones, and may appear oval, pointed or square shaped rather than round. They are often lacking in breast tissue both vertically and horizontally, with one breast noticeably larger than the other. Tubular breasts tend to be smaller in appearance. While not rare, tubular breast are one of the least common types of breast, some women can become conscious of their different appearance and seek to have them altered. To address conical breasts a surgeon can insert a rounded implant and reduce the size of the areola.



This refers to the position of the nipples. East-West breast's nipples point outward (left and right), away from the centre of your body. If someone is seeking to alter their East-West breasts a surgeon should advice that while they can enlarge, or lift the breast, it may accentuate the location of the nipple rather than centralise them. The overall position of the nipple cannot be guaranteed following surgery. 



Relaxed breasts are similar in appearance to slender breasts. Relaxed, or 'sagging breasts' have looser breast tissue making the breasts hang downwards in addition to lower placed nipples. If seeking to alter relaxed breasts a surgeon would recommend either a reduction or an uplift depending on the desired result. Both a reduction and an uplift can be teamed with a breast enlargement. Yes we know it may seem odd that people would want a breast reduction and an enlargement but it wouldn't be our first, it's all about the shape of the breasts in the end result. 


Round and close-set

Some people regard these as different breast types based on the location on the rib-cage (close-set sit closer to the centre of your chest, creating more distance between your underarm and your breast). And though there are always exceptions both close-set and round tend to be rounded in shape i.e. they have an equal amount of fullness at the top and the bottom and produce a fuller cleavage look, which is why we're putting them together. Many people who have undergone breast enlargement surgery have more rounded results. As the most common breast shape, it is often the most sought-after result with breast enlargement surgery.



The teardrop breast is a middle ground between the round and the bell shaped breasts. The teardrop breast is like the round breast towards the bottom, in that it's a fuller shape but it has less tissue at the top of the breast. While it is like the bell shape, the teardrop has more tissue at the top of the breast. If you are looking to alter teardrop breasts a surgeon may recommend an uplift and enlargement. This is not because your breasts are sagging but because an enlargement alone may emphasise the fuller bottom of the breast creating a sagging profile.        


Side set

Admittedly this is less a shape and more a location on the rib-cage, but we think that it counts as a type of breast. Side-set breasts can be any 'shape' but are further apart, with more space between them at the breast bone. If looking to make side-set breasts more centralised a surgeon may recommend and augmentation to reduce the space between the breasts.

Different types of nipple

You may think that 'a nipple is a nipple' but we beg to differ. These little sources of unnecessary controversy vary greatly in colour, size, shape and key features. There are far too many variations to cover here - that could be an entire study in itself - so here we're going to list the different key nipple features.

We think there are nine nipple features:

  • Flat: flat nipples remain at the level of the areolae, however they may become erect after stimulation.
  • Inverted: inverted nipples retract inward instead of standing out like erect nipples.
  • Everted: everted nipples are erect, standing up away from the areolae even without stimulation.
  • Unilateral inverted:unilateral nipples are a combination, with one nipple being inverted and the other everted.
  • Protruding: protruding nipples stand erect, further than everted nipples, even without stimulation.
  • Supernumerary: this is another way of saying third nipple - which is actually very common.
  • Bumpy: small bumps around the areolae, called Montgomery glands, are more noticeable though all nipples have them.
  • Hairy: it’s totally normal to have hair growing around your nipples, and some people have more hair than others.
  • Puffy: both the areola and the nipple make up a raised mound.

How do breasts form?

Ok, so a better title would be 'what factors shape your breasts', but we're sure we've used that before!

Five key reasons that breasts form a certain way:

  • Genetics: perhaps not much of a surprise, but the first most influential factor in how breasts will develop is related to gene coding. Your genes influence your breast density,
  • Weight: you may have noticed yourself but as weight increases and decreases, it can impact breast tissue and density - we often hear that someone lost weight and their breast tissue was the first thing to go. 
  • Exercise: your breasts might look firmer or perkier if you build up the muscles behind your breast tissue by strengthening your pecs. However continuously exercising your pecs may reduce your breast size and give them a more athletic appearance.  
  • Age: your breasts will naturally sag as you get older, so over time, your breasts may become longer and nipples start to face downward.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: your hormones during pregnancy and breastfeeding can make your breasts swell and change the way the fat and tissue are distributed throughout your breasts.


So, by our reckoning combining breast types and nipples there are 90 different 'types' of breasts... and we're not even going to think about the impact of breast size, nipple colour, nipple size or factors that influence shape... that must be thousands of breast variations. Our take-away is whatever your shape, size or design you are unique, and perfect that way. 

Please remember that while our articles are accurate at the time of writing if you have any questions please come in and meet a member of our team for a free, no obligation, chat. And if you have any concerns about your breast health please seek the medical advice immediately.